Honourable Umar Zahir (1936 — 2021)

The statesman and holder of the Order of Distinguished Rule of Izzudheen passed away due to complications that arose while receiving treatment for COVID-19 at Dharumavantha Hospital in Malé on 20 December 2021. He was 85 years old.

Courtesy of The President's Office website.

Courtesy of The President's Office website.

Umar Zahir. The name brings up images of a man riding a bicycle on the streets of Malé, a humble, down-to-earth individual, loved and respected by many, who had always served his country in whatever capacity it required. 

This is apparent from the many roles he had under his belt, from headmaster at Majeedhiyya School, the oldest school in the country, to head of Radio Maldives, manager at Bandos Resort, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

He also served as the President of the Malé Municipality from 1980 to 1993, as well as Minister of Construction and Public Works, Member of Parliament for Malé, and Special Advisor to the President. 

He was instrumental in the Malé road project, the Hulhumalé reclamation, Thilafushi reclamation, as well as a number of other projects across the country. He, in the words of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, "had been a true national legend, loved by many, who had left his indelible mark on every important national endeavour for the last 50 years." 

We at MFR extend our sincere condolences to Honourable Umar Zahir’s family, friends and colleagues, and mourn the loss of a great man who's immeasurable contributions to the nation will always be recognised, and remembered. 

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